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Subject: proposal on contributor/acknowledgement lists...

I have a proposal on what to do with the contributor/acknowledgement lists… it borrows a bit from the guidelines for IETF RFC’s (see ftp://ftp.rfc-editor.org/in-notes/rfc-editor/instructions2authors.txt).


The “Editors” list should list those people (and their affiliation) that authored MOST of the current document text and physically edited the document drafts.  Roughly analogous to a combining of the RFC “authors” list and the RFC editor, the list should be quite short (e.g. 5 or fewer).


The “Contributors” list should list those “who deserve significant credit for the [current] document contents”.  I further propose that “significant credit” be roughly defined as those that made material contribution to the spec; that is, they provided some actual or proposed text (but not to the level of an editor), provided significant editorial review comments, etc.  Note that the contribution wouldn’t necessarily have to be written contribution (e.g. they may have proposed some important changes during an official con-call meeting). 


In general, I think that anyone that personally believes they fall in this contributors’ category should probably be listed in this section.  But since I don’t think that someone should be listed if they never really contributed to the list or in meetings, I recommend that the co-chairs and spec editors should make the final call on these marginal contributions. Note that this continues to be a bit subjective, but having a group of arbiters should keep it “fair”.


I further propose that the “Acknowledgements” section at the back of the spec be structured to include subsections listing:

  • A subsection listing current voting members of the SSTC
  • A subsection for all contributors to previous SAML releases that did not contribute to the current version
  • A subsection for any other contributors (e.g. authors of input documents such as the Liberty specs).


We’ll discuss it on today’s call…

Rob Philpott
Senior Consulting Engineer 
RSA Security Inc.
Tel: 781-515-7115
Mobile: 617-510-0893
Fax: 781-515-7020


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